on the impossibility of pleasing you, 2010

statement (en)

I wake up trembling by your side without the usual morning chock of having to think about who I am. You say my teeth kept creaking all night, though I could have figured that out by the numbness on my mouth. I stare at my body and recognize several additional features and some other missing; this chest, this belly, these hands… I know it all belongs to me but when standing by your side all this uncanny flesh has demands and becomes restless.
You get up yearning for a new day and I’m left to my voice. Somehow in my brain a reunion takes place to discuss the programme for the day – what I must do, what others need me to do, what I feel like doing, what can be left for tomorrow…
So I go into the kitchen eager to make a coffee so tasty that could isolate the magic of an ordinary day; the stove, the table, the chair, the dialogue, the companionship… as I’m enjoying the morning cigarette I’m finally assaulted by that demand to enjoy the day and I freeze. My imagination is occupied by a counter revolution; I choose to please the Ego and refuse to obey the master’s voice!
I feel dirty, go for a bath and once again this body is at war, not speaking to me. Damn it! I insist! Being a woman doesn’t define me! The whole body screams for domain; the uterus to fill, the breasts to pour out, a legacy to inherit, the gestures, the elegance, the clothing, the talking, the walking, the kissing, the sex… An hour has gone by and I am still in the bathroom reliving this battle. I finally get out, put on some overalls and walk towards you.
You suggest we go for a walk and so we do. A coffee at the kiosk, three bookstores and by now I’m already in distress. You know the drill… strolling around, wasting time, a lot left to do, my thoughts rushing; you know it won’t last much longer. I often get this feeling and I always wonder where does this anxiety come from, why this need to be productive, how did I become this person? As I try to calm down and regain control over my sight and hearing, we go for a beer. You and I can tell… the cigarettes!!! We discuss about photography. You start, as enthusiastic as only you can be, talking about your latest ideas. You talk and talk and talk and my facial expressions begin to spasm since another inner battle has just begun. Inside the Café they’re saying:
– I like that one!
– I don’t like that one!
– I’m really not in touch with my feelings.
This affray gets me irritated. I’m pretty sure I know what they’re talking about and it offends me to be mistaken for a jester.
The neurosis takes over my features so now I have to make up an imaginary self to talk you through the circumstances:
– I thought I was the girl who did the photographs all by herself and that was something; if you take over the ideas I am not anybody. What am I worth for? I am a woman, a daughter, a sister, a lover, but none of that describes me, it only adds. Maybe I’m just afraid to let go of my past as a child and face the woman I am now; still we must be careful, ‘cause if I lose the self esteem yet left I might end up hating men and blaming them for making me who I am, eventually wanting to be alone again.
You stare at me with a sweet smile and the same spirited eyes. You obviously don’t believe I’m actually living this dilemma. Maybe you think I’m just stubborn, maybe you think I’m cruel. As I’m about to lose my way I decide your ideas need to be put to practice. I want to pleasure you, even if that means having to betray myself, even knowing you’re impossible to please. But this is not a real reaction, rather a symbolic one.
Arrête!!!
We walk back home to pick up the camera and stuff. As we go about to photograph I keep repeating to myself: Be reminded of the details! Be reminded of the details! When I used to shoot portraits often I had the models saying this litany back to me, but now I’m ashamed to ask. So in the act of photographing my mind goes blank, as to sustain the denial of a visual inheritance. I believe if Madness were to come along during these moments of voided time, she could help me reach authenticity, but while she’s not here I look for empty spaces to build upon. My brain is about to burst, you could fry an egg on my head.
Home again; you’re peacefully laying down on the sofa reading a book. I’m in the kitchen again thinking I might do dinner, or maybe I can do some patchwork before. Pretty much about to panic I drop a tear thinking that pleasing you might force my true self to stay hidden. So before the melt down I pick up my rags and leave. As usually I run away with guilt, anticipating the moment when you would be the one leaving me.
I haven’t a clue what I’m looking for but I’m sure I’ll be giving up on love on my way there.
I just lost control over my legs. I know is psychosomatic, but my mind couldn’t care less and so I’m stuck here, in between…

statement impossibility* * *

a project in collaboration with Palácios